Across the Archdiocese, parish leadership and safeguarding teams have been working hard to implement safeguarding practices and policies that reinforce the Church's commitment to protecting children and those most vulnerable in the community.
Fr Tony Doran, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ringwood, says it has required his parishioners to look at every aspect of parish life. 'What we do, how we do it, the spaces in which we do what we do. Now we know where the gaps are in our policies and procedures, so we can begin to address them. We also know where we're doing well.'
Implementing change can often be a slow process, requiring the participation of all in the community.
'We engage with our community, our leaders, and our parishioners about reinforcing our joint commitment to child safety,' says Ewa, a parishioner at St Benedict's in Burwood. 'We also provide the broader community with information about our policies and our procedures, and give them some online helpful resources, and also ask for feedback on our practices.’
For children to thrive we need to come together as a community and put children’s needs first during National Child Protection Week and every week. The following resources have been prepared for use in family or parish settings:
Each year, the Church in Australia marks Child Protection Sunday on the second Sunday of September (13 September). These resources have been prepared by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, in collaboration with Catholic Religious Australia, Catholic Professional Standards Ltd, the Professional Standards Unit and the National Office for Liturgy:
Christian Bergmann20 September 2023